Chef Chuck's Pesto Pasta Salad

Insalata di Pasta al Pesto

A summery pasta salad made with homemade pesto, radiatore pasta and all freshly picked vegetables, from my gardens. This unique shaped pasta absorbed the pesto, a fusilli pasta also would work well. Radiatore meaning radiator, looks like short thick grills.

Pesto Pasta Salad
12 ounces radiatore vegetable pasta
1/2 cup pesto
zucchini slices, thin cut in half
carrots sliced thin
onions, sliced thin
beets, sliced thin
tomato, cubed
mozzarella cubed
fresh oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


2 cups fresh basil
3/4 cups parmigiana, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor slowly drizzle in olive oil till all ingredients are combined. For this recipe you will need 1/2 cup, store the rest tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Cook pasta till "al dente", rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain well, set aside. Mix in the pesto. Add all vegetables, mozzarella, oregano, a drizzle of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar with the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste.

Chef Chuck's Chicken with Beer

Pollo all Birra

A chicken recipe, that results in a very moist and tender dish. The beer and rosemary added so much flavor to this chicken. The aroma was intoxicating throughout the entire house. Drunken chicken for everyone!

Chicken with Beer

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
salt and pepper
olive oil
4 garlic cloves
4 sprigs rosemary
1 bottle of beer

Mix flour, salt and pepper together and coat chicken. In a large frying pan add enough olive oil to cover bottom of pan, on medium heat brown chicken on both sides. Add whole garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary. Slowly pour beer in, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, turn over chicken and cook an additional 40 minutes. Serve over rice or orzo.

Chef Chuck's Walnut Nutella Torta

Torta di Noci e Chocolato

A sweet dessert with a buttery crust, a thin layer of hazelnut chocolate and a filling made with walnuts, honey, lemon juice and butter. A perfect way to end any meal.

Walnut Nutella Torta
1 stick of butter, 4 ounces
2 ounces sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup flour

3 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons honey
2 sticks butter, 8 ounces
1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
pinch of salt
1/4 cup Nutella
powered sugar

For the pastry, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes, add egg yolks and blend. Slowly add flour till all combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out with lots of flour, the dough is very soft. Use a 8 or 9 inch pan grease well and place dough in form, if it cracks it is very easy to press together with fingers.
For the filling put all ingredients into a pot bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Spread Nutella on dough then pour in walnut mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Leave in pan till completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream, whip cream or mascarpone.

Chef Chuck's Summer Shrimp Appetizers

Summer Shrimp Appetizers

A scrumptious shrimp appetizer filled with grilled garden vegetables, a creamy sauce, cradled within a soft buttery puff. A perfect appetizer for the summer, to indulge in all of the gardens harvest.

12 large shrimp
1 medium zucchini
1 large onion
1 red pepper
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
olive oil
salt and pepper

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 cup eggs, about 4-5

In a small saucepan on medium heat add water, milk, salt and butter heat to boil
remove from heat add flour and mix with a wooden spoon till ball forms, return to heat for 10 seconds. Place in mixer and cool for 7 minutes. Add lightly scrambled eggs slowly, batter should be smooth. Fill pastry bag and swirl dough in about 3-4" diameter circles. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes till golden brown. If you don't cook long enough they will collapse. Set aside.

Cut zucchini lengthwise about 1/4 thick, cut onions and peppers into quarters coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for 10-12 minutes. Peel shrimp, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper, grill shrimp till pink, this takes about 3 minutes, cut into small pieces. Divide vegetables in half, blend half along with 1 teaspoon capers, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons basil, salt and pepper, till you get a creamy mixture. Cut the other half of vegetables into small chunks. Cut open the puffs add a little creamy mixture then add chunks of vegetables and shrimp, top with a few capers, a teaspoon of creamy mixture and the top of the puff. Continue till all puffs are filled, enjoy. Makes 12 puffs.

Chef Chuck's One Pan Pasta

This is a simple one pot pasta recipe. Easy to make, quick, and delicious! Really a unique dish, it will become an old standby! Watch the video clip from my show on Arizona Midday to see how simply you can make a pasta dinner for the whole family. We serve this with homemade bread and salad.

Chef Chuck's One Pot Pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh tomatoes about 8 medium tomatoes
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
2 1/2 cups hot water can use up to 3 cups
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
parmigiana, cheese grated
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan heat pan add olive oil then add paste and brown for about 3 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, saute for another minute then cut tomatoes in half and take core out, place cut side down on medium heat with lid on for about 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove skins and discard them, add salt and pepper. Add uncooked pasta and hot water put lid on and cook 10 minutes.

Chef Chuck's Garden Vegetable Wraps

Garden Vegetable Wraps

A light healthy meal filled with garden vegetables, great for a picnic or a to go lunch. The zucchini, tomatoes and onions were just picked from the garden. The combination's are endless, use your favorite veggies and cheese.

thin tortillas
carrots, shredded
fresh spinach leaves
parmigiano cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Slice tomatoes, zucchini and onions very thin. Warm tortilla, spread a thin layer of hummus and layer vegetables on tortilla add cheese, salt and pepper, roll up and cut on a diagonal.

Chef Chuck's Mascarpone Stuffed Strawberry

Mascarpone stuffed strawberries are a refreshing summertime treat. The juicy strawberry is filled generously with sweetened creamy mascarpone cheese and drizzled with a decadent chocolate.

Mascarpone Stuffed Strawberry
12 sweet strawberries
8 ounces mascarpone
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Wash and cut out stem of strawberry and core the berry slightly. In a mixer or use a whisk blend mascarpone, powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons heavy cream till all combined. Using a pastry bag with a small tip or a teaspoon fill strawberry with mascarpone mixture. Melt chocolate and 3 tablespoons heavy cream over a double boiler and drizzle over strawberries, put tops back on.

Chef Chuck's Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato

Gelato di Nocciole e Cioccolato

A super chocolaty gelato enriched with toasted hazelnuts is a creamy, smooth chocolate dessert. An elegant treat to enjoy on these hot summer days.

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted

In a small frying pan toast hazelnuts on low heat for about 7 minutes, chop, set aside. In a medium size pot combine all ingredients, including half of the nuts. On medium heat whisk constantly till mixture comes to a boil. This takes about 8-10 minutes. Strain chocolate into a bowl and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Pour into an ice cream machine and mix until gelato thickens. Top with the other half of hazelnuts. Serve soft or put in a plastic container and freeze to serve more frozen.

Chef Chuck's Orecchiette with Sausage

Orecchiette con Salsiccia

The shape of Orecchiette pasta, meaning small ear, holds onto all these wonderful flavors of sausage, garden vegetables, white wine and red hot pepper flakes. A simple combination of unique shaped pasta with garden fresh onions, zucchini and garlic makes this recipe a summer special.

Orecchiette with Sausage
1 pound orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4 Italian sausage links
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 small white onion
4 baby zucchini
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper
red hot pepper flakes
sprig of rosemary
parmigiano cheese, grated

In a large pot heat water, add salt cook pasta till al dente. In a large frying pan heat olive oil, add garlic and remove sausage casings and brown sausage. Stir and cook about 3 - 5 minutes, move sausage to side of pan and discard garlic. Add onions, and saute till translucent then add zucchini, white wine, salt, pepper. Bruise rosemary stem by hitting it with the back of a knife, this will release the aromas. Mix and simmer an additional 3 minutes, remove rosemary and discard. Add pasta to this mixture with a little pasta water stir and add red hot pepper flakes. Grate parmigiano cheese on pasta.